By Sylvia Westall
A video purportedly made by Islamic State and posted on social media sites on Sunday appeared to show militants shooting and beheading 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya.
Reuters was unable to verify the authenticity of the video, but the killings resemble past violence carried out by Islamic State, an ultra-hardline group that has expanded its reach from strongholds in Iraq and Syria to Libya.
The video showed about 15 men being beheaded on a beach and another group of the same size, in an area of shrubland, being shot in the head.
Both groups of men are referred to in a subtitle as “worshippers of the cross belonging to the hostile Ethiopian church”.
Libyan officials were not available for comment.
Ethiopia said it had not been able to verify whether the people shown in the video were its citizens.
“Nonetheless, the Ethiopian government condemns the atrocious act,” government spokesman Redwan Hussein said.
He said Ethiopia, which does not have an embassy in Libya, would help repatriate Ethiopians if they wanted to leave Libya.